Letters

By , Rick Soul, Jack H. Ott

Cable or Lifeline?

The opinion-page article "More Sleaze on TV," Sept. 12, states that "84 percent of ... parents are concerned about violence on TV" and "two-thirds of the public think TV shows have a negative impact on the country." Why then, do people keep watching TV?

After years of watching less and less of the 50-some-odd channels on our TV, my wife and I have taken the bold step of simply cancelling our cable service. We still enjoy television with our two small children, but it is all with videotapes. Meanwhile, I've discovered how wonderful reading books and having free evenings can be (not to mention no more cable bills).

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A drastic step? Of course. But maybe it's time for an outraged public to take a courageous stand.

Rick Soul

Vista, Calif.

Two for the foresters

When I read the editorial "One for the Forests," Sept. 9, it seemed like it was a fund-raising letter for the Sierra Club. The environmental safeguards you refer to are not being "pushed aside." The problem is that the Sierra Club is opposed to all timber sales.

If you would like more information about clear-cuts, read the September 1996 issue of National Geographic. It has a well-written article about wildfire which is nature's version of clear-cuts. If we continue to allow more fuel buildup, the damage caused by wildfire will only get worse.

Pioneer species such as aspen would not exist today if fire had not made periodic "clear-cuts" throughout the ages. Otherwise, plant succession would have run its course, and young conifer species would have invaded the aspen stand and gradually replaced the aspen trees. Foresters use clear-cutting to mimic fire, thereby renewing aspen stands and making use of the wood products.

The Society of American Foresters, an organization of professional foresters, is having its national convention in Albuquerque, N.M., Nov. 9-13. The keynote address will be given by John Sawhill, president and chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy takes a positive approach to environmental issues by actually managing land. I invite your reporters to cover this national meeting. We encourage young people to become involved in conserving natural resources, but we hope that they would value the wisdom and experience of professionals in the field.

Jack H. Ott

Mancos, Colo.

Preventing child exploitation

Your excellent "Safeguarding the Children" series was both wrenching and revealing. The conclusion I'm left with is right on - "prevention is fundamental."

The safety rules for kids are the same whether it's being on-line or off-line: cruising the Internet, walking home from school, shopping at the mall, or being with a childcare provider.

Child abuse happens. Thinking it just goes on "over there" in foreign countries is criminally provincial. In the US, I sometimes see the same lack of awareness. Then some sensational abuse story breaks, getting national coverage, and we're all moved, up in arms, and thankful it wasn't my child. All too often the news media focus is on catching and punishing the child predator - with the prevention solution getting little coverage.

However, it's encouraging to know that several states (N.Y., Calif., N.J., Conn., Pa.) are taking the lead in prevention and enacting legislation requiring schools to teach child-abuse education classes.

At Safe-T-Child our programs have a unique approach. They are entertainment-driven. Working with parents and teachers, we prevent child abuse by empowering children. Prevention is fundamental. Thank you for helping to bring this message to so many concerned parents and educators.

Jan Wagner

Austin, Texas

President, Safe-T-Child

Letters for publication must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published in the Monitor and the Monitor's on-line edition and none acknowledged. All letters are subject to editing. Letters should be addressed to "Readers Write" and may be sent by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by Internet e-mail (200 words maximum) to OPED@CSPS.COM.

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